Why I shop DSW
I love DSW. And I’ve often been asked how I get such good deals and find such cute shoes there. The store (stands for Designer Shoe Warehouse) has a ridiculously large collection of shoes not only in stores but also online. In fact, its online selection is at least twice that of retail locations. DSW offers affordable shoes in the latest trends and even more interestingly, a whole luxury line (not available in stores that I have been to) that consists of Prada, Giuseppe Zanotti, Herve Leger, in addition to a few other well-known designers.
I first discovered DSW when I lived near Gaithersburg. There were a few store locations in the area and I wanted to see what they were all about so I stopped in one day and I was hooked. I shopped there off and on and introduced my mom and sisters to it. It was shoe paradise. Basically, all shoe lovers can easily spend 1+ hours here. (i.e. Do not make this a “quick stop” or decide to stop in if you are on a tight schedule because let’s face it, you’ll be late.)
Although DSW carries handbags and accessories (socks, shoe cushions, etc…), their shoe collection is [obviously] their main focus. The online selection always has non-seasonal shoes available. In fact, just yesterday I was browsing through their amazing riding boots section and was pleasantly surprised at the prices I came across.
Now that you know why I shop at DSW, you can read the following tips on the best ways to shop DSW.
How to shop DSW
1. SIGN UP FOR A REWARDS ACCOUNT
*I should note that this is not a credit card. It is just a unique number that you access using your telephone number. No need to worry about stolen card numbers or affected credit.
Here is an example of how the rewards system has helped me – these Nine West beauties were $30+ ($38, I think?) before my rewards coupon kicked in. However, I had $20 off and miracle of all miracles, I took them home for a whopping $18. Nice, eh?
Returns are free to stores AND shipping is free above $35 if you are a rewards member and you use code “SHIPR.” These are musts for online shopping. I despise forking over cash just to “try on” something. Online shopping is too fickle, or maybe I am, for me to miraculously love and fit into everything I order. Especially when you are between two shoe sizes.
Just recently, I found these online. They sold out very quickly afterwards.
3. HIT THE CLEARANCE RACKS
This is an important note to remember. Clearance racks can get tedious but they will always have better prices than clearance selections online. Sometimes you will find shoes on clearance at the store but they will still be regularly marked online. Browse these racks (usually a special section in the back of the store) often and if you aren’t in dire need of a particular shoe, wait for more markdowns. But only if you can live without it in the likely chance that it could sell.
DSW has 4 markdown tiers: 30%, 40%, 50%, and 70%. Discounts are marked down from the sticker price. A few months ago, they posted a very helpful “markdowns for dummies” chart in the section where all the calculations are already done for you. Maybe to give us a few extra minutes to shop instead of spending that time on menial tasks like math.
Scored these Guess leather boots…
4. SCAN REGULAR RACKS FOR CLEARANCE ITEMS
Think all clearance shoes will be in the back section? Nope. DSW will sometimes mix in clearance shoes in between the regularly priced ones. Be sure to quickly scan the rows for the telltale green, purple or blue tags.
The sandals below were in the actual section but I had to include them anyways.
5. ALWAYS MAKE EXCHANGES
This is a very important thing to remember in striving for the best deals. I’ve already mentioned how important it is to sign up for a rewards member’s account. And I’ve noted how DSW takes in-store returns for free. But what happens if you make a purchase online, use a $10 rewards coupon but sadly, the shoe doesn’t fit? What now? No one wants to lose hard earned cash. Lucky for us, DSW has the best rewards/returns policy. As long as you make an exchange, they will honor the coupons you used.
And that’s all she wrote folks. Hopefully you’ve learned a bit and discovered something new! Have a wonderful weekend!